Loony Quest is a brilliant, easily accessible game for all ages, but works particularly well with those in primary school. Each player has a sheet of acetate, a pad to rest on, a marker pen and a cloth to wipe it clean with. In the centre of the table is a map.
The map contains loony characters, objects and paths. At the bottom is a key telling them which of the three things they need to do on their acetate:
1) draw a path from point A to point B whilst avoiding any obstacles,
2) draw rings around a certain number of objects again missing obstacles.
3) draw dots where enemies/objects are.
The map also tells them how many points they get for successfully doing things, as well as how many they lose for hitting certain things.
There’s a sand timer and they have to complete their drawing before it runs out, then their acetate gets placed onto the map to see how well,,,or poorly…they have done.
Whilst playing their are also power ups and downgrades that you can pick up. Power ups will help you or hinder others – so you can ignore a negative thing or force another player to balance your token on top of their pen whilst they draw the next targets.
Downgrades are things like having to keep your forearm flat on the table as you draw or turning the pad over from the white side to the picture side so its harder to see what you’re doing.
It’s a really simple concept but it leads to lots of laughter and fun frustration. The expansion pack adds new maps as well as a 3 dimensional pyramid that makes viewing the map below more difficult.
Questions to explore character:
- How did it feel when you correctly marked out what you needed to on the sheet?
- How did it feel when you got it wrong and failed/lost points?
- Have you ever thought you were doing something right then found out later it was actually wrong?
- How did you respond when that happened?
- Have you ever had someone try to plan something for you that went wrong and ended up backfiring?
- How did you respond to them? How would you feel in their situation? Would you respond differently knowing that?
Link to faith
We are told repeatedly in the Bible that God has a plan for us, for instance:
I know the plans I have for you,” announces the Lord.Jeremiah 29:11a NIRV
I will guide you and teach you the way you should go. I will give you good advice and watch over you with love.Psalm 32:8 NIRV
He knows the paths we should take in life, and He guides us to them. But we are only human. We fail, often. We stray from the path set before us usually inadvertently. When playing Loony Quest you can see the goal, you can see what you are meant to reach. But you have to take that information and draw the best path you can to try and connect the points, and reach the goal. You don’t know until AFTER you’ve done it if you’ve made the correct path or not.
This is what life can be like most of the time. God’s path for us is unclear, we work off the small hints and tips we can pick up through prayer and talking with our Christian community and we try very hard to live Christian lives. But we all trip up. Every. Single. Person. Anyone who tells you they don’t is lying to you. It is ok to mess up, it is ok to make mistakes. The Grace of God allows us to be saved, we just need to repent of the bad things we have done.
‘Repent of’ is a strange term these days, it sounds harsh and can feel like it has angry connotations, but it actually just means ‘turn away from’. Turn away from the mistakes we’ve done and don’t repeat them. Even if you are not Christian this is sound advice, why keep doing things that hurt yourself or others? Repent of them and you’ll be happier in life in general.
In Loony Quest you can completely mess up your first few paths but as you get more used to what you are looking for you’ll start to make less mistakes. It doesn’t mean you won’t make any mistakes, but you start to make less.
There is one Psalm in particular I turn to often, whenever I feel I am lost or not following the path God has set before me and that is Psalm 139. To me it shows that God knows me, better than anyone else, better than I know myself. He can see every part of me, and even though He can see all my flaws, all the missteps I’ve taken on my path in life…He still loves me. He still wants to guide me in the right way. And to me that is very powerful and comforting.
Links to buy
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Game images courtesy of Libellud